I Tremble for my Country



The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.” –
–Thomas Jefferson, in “A Summary View of the Rights of British America”
“Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice can not sleep forever…
― Thomas Jefferson, in Notes on the State of Virginia on the need for abolition of slavery

Would Thomas Jefferson, architect of our Declaration of Independence celebrated today, be trembling for his country still? I believe he would, considering his views were radical in his day, his religious convictions unconventional, and his plantation managed by slaves of African descent. He personally understood the moral quicksand on which he tenuously stood–the conflict he felt was as close as his own home. He would recognize and mourn our abuse of our liberties secured and maintained through the blood of our forefathers, our brothers, sisters and children.

Today we are sinking deeply in that same quicksand, having done no better than Jefferson at forging a personal and moral foundation on which to firmly stand. We have squandered our autonomy with selfishness rather than a selflessness borne out of gratitude for the gift of freedom. We want to secure and protect what is ours before we consider in humility if others have what they need first. We have used up land and and animals and water without regard to those who will come after us, failing to be stewards of the garden so generously given to our care.  We trample daily on others’ rights in the name of self-determination and freedom of choice, especially destroying the defenseless for imperfect genetics, wrong gender or simply being ill-timed.

History as recorded in the Word and elsewhere shows when everyone does as they see fit, there is no immunity from judgment and wrath:

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
Judges 17:6

And how well has that worked out for us?
It took a true servant King who sacrificed Himself to save us from destroying ourselves.
He is still trying and still waiting for our response.

Let us remember with conviction today the source of our life and liberty; His justice does not sleep.





10 thoughts on “I Tremble for my Country

  1. A number of the founding fathers were people of the enlightenment. Despite their preferences they founded this new nation on the firm ground of God’s perfect truth. For they knew that if this nation was to have any chance of surviving, it could not do so on the shifting ideals found in the ever changing subjective ideas of men.

    This country has a creed that contains the promise to all men and women their inalienable rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness that are given by God. That solid creed is supported by a Bill of Rights and Constitution. This country is one of laws. And its creed will not falter so long as its laws are well rooted.


  2. This country is straying so far from the truth, the rights of others, and by seeking to make all happy. There are rules we must follow. The laws of our country, and the principles on which we are founded do not stretch to include the laws of all countries, the beliefs of of otbers. We can be fair, honest and follow our founding fathmer’s guidelines, but we no NOT need to ‘give in’ to those who no not believe in our way, nor do we discard the very fabric, the thought, the grounding on which we are based.


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